Malawi President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera has challenged world leaders to match their words of solidarity with action in helping people affected by Tropical Cyclone Freddy with relief assistance.
Chakwera made the sentiments during a virtual Democracy Summit, which United States (US) President Joe Biden hosted and attended by leaders of Ukraine, Niger, Panama and Denmark.
In his statement during the summit, the Malawi leader boldly spoke of moral duty, in light of the various miscarriages of justice that threaten democracy worldwide.
He told the panel to consider demonstrating the same degree of conviction that he had demonstrated, when he learned of the horrors of the Ukraine war, following a conversation with the Ukrainian leader, by asking his summit counterparts to offer support and relief to Malawi, in the wake of Cyclone Freddy, and its devastating, unprecedented effects.
Chakwera stated that any act that claims the number of lives and causes such unimaginable economic and social destruction, as has the war in Ukraine, simply cannot be addressed with mere words of solidarity, but rather with actualized camaraderie that continues to be exemplified, by the very summit being convened.
He further called for this spirit to be extended to other democracies like Malawi, in view of the fact that the climate change impact that the country continues to be subjected to, as witnessed in the aftermath of Cyclone Freddy, is as a result of major industrial action by other nations.
Asking whether it is not a “moral duty” for the world to do more to help ailing democratic economies, President Chakwera concluded by imploring on the panel to offer more than just words to Malawi, as she attempts to rebuild from the multitude of climate change shocks, but rather action.
Buttressing President Chakwera’s remarks regarding the premise of the war in Ukraine, President Volodomyr Zelensky expressed the need to confront what he called the “enemies of democracy”, alluding to Russia and indeed the prevailing war in Ukraine as a stark example of how such foes are an affront on democracy globally.
On the other hand, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen focussed on how technology can be harnessed to compliment democracy, rather than being used to infringe democratic principles, citing examples of states that have used social media to promote undemocratic values and subjugate the media.
In his remarks, the Panamanian President Laurentino Cortizo Cohen insisted that the fundamental socio-economic issues such as food sovereignty must be addressed first, in order for democracy to be fostered.
President Cortizo Cohen impressed that trade relations must take into account asymmetry of nations if trade is to be equitable for everyone.
Niger’s President Mohamed Bazoum added that ultimately democracy must be lived and practiced as opposed to being imposed. Only then did he insists can it’s effects be truly effective and lasting.
US President Joe Biden commended the leaders for their submissions and called for continued dialogue and support amongst democracies in order to realize the goals of the summit.